Safety Performance

Chesapeake's success is built on our strong safety culture, fueled by our unwavering commitment to protecting our people (employees and contractors) and the environment. In 2019 our employee TRIR was 0.16 and we achieved 360 days without an employee recordable injury. ​

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Equipping Employees to Make Safe Decisions

Creating an incident-free work environment starts with setting clear expectations among employees, contractors and suppliers regarding our safety standards, and working to empower and equip individuals with the skills necessary to promote safety in their areas of work. We reinforce our commitment to maintaining a safe work environment through required training topics and monthly HSER meetings with all field employees.​

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Operational Safety

Ensuring that everyone goes home safely every day requires ownership from every individual working on a Chesapeake location, and a commitment to continuous improvement.

In 2019, as a response to employee feedback as well as evaluating how to improve safety meetings, in certain remote operating areas we began holding safety meetings in satellite offices in the field rather than at the company field office. This reduces cost and risks, and avoids employees driving on the road diverted from work sites. Safety meetings in the field make safety relevant and timely.   

Key to our safety training program is tailoring safety conversations to the specific location and work at-hand. Through our industrial hygiene initiative, we conduct exposure assessments​ to identify chemical, physical and biological stressors that may impact employee health while on a jobsite. Through the program, we pinpoint potential hazards and develop proactive, situational plans and trainings to best protect our employees.

With a similar goal of anticipating and mitigating potential hazards, Chesapeake also performs job safety analyses (JSA) for company projects. Each JSA documents potential hazards and requires mitigation if a hazard is identified. Before employees or company representatives begin a job, they attend a safety meeting during which they review the JSA.

Once trained, we offer further safeguarding of our employees, particularly those who may spend their shifts working independently on remote sites. By wearing a personal monitor connected to the company's in-vehicle monitoring system (IVMS), individuals in the field can receive faster response should they experience an emergency. The monitor tracks personal movements, alerting other team members if an employee is immobile for a period of time, and enables two-way communication if help is needed.  

Driving Safer

One of the most dangerous things our employees do every day is get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. We are focused on always working harder to educate our employees and reinforce a safe driving performance. We work to improve driver safety through three programs: driver education; driver monitoring; and safe driver recognition.​​

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In 2019 Chesapeake experienced a slight increase in our preventable MVA rate. This increase was due to incidents happening at or near a parked location, which made up 69% of our preventable MVAs. We have since focused on communication and additional training for our drivers, stressing the importance of performing a 360-degree walk around of their vehicle whenever they arrive or leave a parked position.

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Our driving performance while on the roadway has continued to improve year over year. In 2019 we recognized an additional 20% improvement as we continued to utilize an advanced vehicle telematics system paired with our company's driver incentive program that rewards our drivers for safe, consistent behaviors behind the wheel.

Chesapeake's drivers participate in four online and classroom courses, including the Smith Driving System Program, which offers hands-on driving training common in driver's education and defensive driving curriculum. Armed with this training, employees begin to acquire consistent habits that help prevent accidents. When inclement weather does occur, our drivers are alerted, with a planned route offered to mitigate risks. On our Oklahoma City campus, we employ late openings and early closures when needed to help keep employees off potentially dangerous roads, and clear and treat driving and parking areas when needed.

Through our IVMS, we are able to track employee driving habits and identify safety concerns. Employees are alerted when they speed, accelerate too fast or brake suddenly, and supervisors review reports of their employees' driving behavior on a weekly basis. The data gathered by this system is used to provide an IVMS rate as a leading indicator of our driving performance. The IVMS rate allows the company to monitor improvement in driving habits which contributes to a reduction in preventable on-road motor vehicle incidents.

As mentioned above, as a further incentive to encourage safe driving habits, we also host a recognition program — the 100% Club — available to drivers assigned to a fleet vehicle. Through this program, drivers receive recognition points for reaching mileage milestones without triggering an IVMS alert. Recognition points may be exchanged for prizes, with the ultimate reward being the opportunity to purchase a fleet vehicle at a 50% discount. In 2019, approximately 57% of our fleet drivers were recognized through this program, and 14 drivers have driven 75,000 miles without triggering an IVMS alert. 

We want everyone to get home safe every day and stay safe when they're not at work. That's why we promote distracted driving awareness each year, including a distracted driving awareness event on our Oklahoma City campus where employees hear from experts and participate in impaired-driving simulations.

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Improving Corporate Campus Safety

Our corporate campus employees also remain dedicated to expanding their safety awareness and responsibility by participating in both a campus-specific training program and our Good Catch initiative. Through targeted communications, we apply safety to the corporate environment, focusing on behavior often caused by distraction or lack of safety knowledge. Quarterly safety events take place on campus and may include safety testimonials from operations professionals, safety trends or a topic relevant to a safety need at the time. These events are broadcast live and available for replay. 

In addition to providing corporate employees with tangible safety tips and a dedicated campus safety page on our intranet, we review our corporate campus to suggest safety design improvements. Over the last two years we have made crosswalks more visible, altered walking paths to avoid potential fall hazards, installed speed bumps in parking garages, increased signage around pedestrian walkways and reconfigured the walking and parking areas near our Child Development Center. Following inclement weather, dedicated winter walking paths are cleared to give employees safe access throughout campus.

We also have a floor warden emergency response program in which designated employees facilitate emergency evacuations and cascade safety messages to their co-workers. All campus employees participate in one fire drill and one tornado drill each year.

HSER Moments

To maintain a safe work environment, we must remain diligent in keeping safety top of mind, every day. As a result, in 2019 we introduced HSER Moments — single-page slides that each address a health, safety, environmental or regulatory topic that can be shared in less than two minutes during a presentation or meeting. More than 70 slides are available to employees, with content ranging from first aid and basic electrical safety to fall protection and flood safety.

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Contractor Safety​

Safety is everyone's responsibility on our work sites. To further our commitment to providing a safe work environment, we facilitate a comprehensive contractor safety management program that includes communicating best practices, lessons learned and safety goals.

Our uncompromising safety standards begin at the hiring process. From the start of a relationship with Chesapeake, contractors must pass a qualification process including an evaluation of each potential contractor's safety and environmental record. We use an online contractor management platform during the hiring process and for ongoing monitoring of our contractors, which reviews and verifies contractor regulatory, environmental and safety-related requirements and documentation. Before approval, the prospective contractor must also agree to abide by Chesapeake's Supplier Code of Conduct, committing to honor our core values and provide a safe and healthy workplace for all employees.

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Once approved, Chesapeake contractors must complete both an industry orientation course and a Chesapeake-specific safety orientation before they arrive at a company location. The orientation sets clear safety expectations in accordance with industry-standard safety guidelines, which establish minimum requirements for HSE practices. Volunteers from major and independent operating companies, industry associations and educators developed the guidelines specifically for the U.S. onshore exploration and production industry. 

Each year we review and revise this orientation for accuracy in methodology and compliance with new regulations. We also regularly review our contractor safety handbook, which outlines the basic safety and environmental requirements that all personnel must follow when working on our locations. This handbook sets the minimum expectations for acceptable work activity and reiterates an employee or contractor's responsibility to stop work that is believed to be unsafe or that could lead to environmental impact. The orientation and handbook can be accessed via the online contractor management platform, Chesapeake's supplier portal or from Chesapeake HSE offices. The handbook and orientation are available in English and Spanish.

To further emphasize our commitment to safety, we host contractor safety meetings, and our Operations staff tailors safety discussions to the individual geographies where contractors are working, as different regions may have different safety-related concerns. As an additional step, we conduct contractor assessments in the field. These assessments, coordinated with our HSER audit team, confirm that our contractors are reporting their safety performance accurately. ​

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Partnering for a Safe Industry

Chesapeake partners with several industry trade organizations to share key safety learnings with our peers. While we may compete in the marketplace, we are united in keeping our employees, partners and neighbors safe. Chesapeake is involved in safety-related committees within the American Exploration & Production Council (AXPC) and the American Petroleum Institute. We also participate in ISN User Group meetings, including being on a Q&A panel to share information. In addition, we participate in the American Society of Safety Professionals and the National Safety Council.

We also engage on a local level. A Chesapeake representative sits on the newly formed Petroleum Alliance of Oklahoma Safety Council, and we partner with the South Texas Exploration and Production Safety Network (STEPS) in promoting safety, health and environmental improvements across the industry in South Texas, as well as with the Mid-Continent Exploration and Production Safety (MCEPS) Network which plays a similar role in Oklahoma.​